Hemp oil is exploding all over in tinctures, vapes, skin creams and more, and for good reason; research done on this medicinal compound shows promising results in many areas. Hemp oil is under continuous study to determine which areas of the body it can benefit, and so far, it has been shown to be beneficial in helping numerous conditions in all parts of the body, from the neurons in the brain to the bones and skin and beyond. In fact, the health benefits of hemp oil are so numerous that it would be impossible to list them all. Listed here are the “top ten” categories of hemp oil health benefits so that you can determine whether hemp oil would be worthwhile for you to try.
1. Anti-inflammatory and Pain Reducer
In the society we live in today, it seems like almost everyone is struggling with some form of inflammation or pain. Of all of the beneficial properties that hemp oil is known for, perhaps most famous is its anti-inflammatory properties. Since inflammation can affect nearly every part of the body, hemp oil’s ability to interact with neurotransmitters to decrease inflammation and thereby reduce chronic pain gives it an extensive range of healing powers. An animal study conducted by an Italian researcher showed that hemp oil significantly decreased nerve pain, which indicated its potential in therapeutically treating a wide variety of ailments that stem from inflammation.
2. Mental Health Disorders
Mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD are becoming increasingly common and interfering significantly with a vast number of lives. A review of current research that was compiled by the World Health Organization showed that depression is the most significant contributor to disability in the world, with anxiety ranking not far behind. While pharmaceutical drugs for these conditions can be associated with debilitating side effects and lead to addiction, hemp oil has been shown to help more naturally with these disorders. According to Spanish researchers who published their study in the Journal of Neuropharmacology, this effect is accomplished because hemp oil increases serotonin, a chemical in the body that acts as a natural mood stabilizer.
3. Neurological Disorders
The brain’s neurons are responsible for every bodily function. As such, a neurological dysfunction in the brain can manifest as a number of disorders. These disorders can be intensely life-altering for those who are affected, and the quality of life can be significantly diminished. Hemp oil is now gaining attention as a possible holistic method of treating these disorders because it interacts with neurological receptors.
In a double-blind study done by researchers in Brazil, 21 Parkinson’s patients were either given a placebo, 75 mg of hemp oil per day, or 300mg of hemp oil per day. The group that was treated with 300 mg of hemp oil per day showed significantly more improvement than the other two groups. In another animal study, scientists determined that hemp oil can reverse and prevent the development of cognitive deficits in rodents with Alzheimer's. Hemp oil has also been shown to help reduce seizures in individuals suffering from treatment-resistant Epilepsy. In this clinical trial, people who were administered hemp oil showed a reduction in total monthly seizures.
4. Anti-Tumor and Cancer Properties
Medical News Today reports that cancer is the second-greatest cause of death in the United States. With the search for a cure becoming increasingly pressing, the medical community is on the lookout for new treatment ideas to help with this multifaceted disease. Hemp oil has the potential to assist in cancer treatment by helping to destroy the disease while also lessening the side effects of traditional cancer treatment.
In a 2011 study, hemp oil killed breast cancer cells showing its capability as an anti-tumor agent. Another study by Canadian scientists indicated that hemp oil is helpful in reducing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. As another added benefit, hemp extract can help mitigate the pain that often comes along with cancer because of its anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing properties. Although one should never use hemp oil as a replacement for traditional cancer medicine, it can be a very beneficial addition to a cancer treatment plan, with the approval of a doctor.
5. Better Sleep
A good night’s sleep is the foundation upon which every good day stands. While sleeping, the body repairs itself and restores harmony to its systems. Without a sufficient amount of quality sleep, all bodily functions can be compromised. Hemp oil is a unique compound with regard to sleep. While other supplements can either promote wakefulness or sleepiness, but not both, hemp oil has been shown to have a dual effect. A 2008 animal study concluded that when hemp oil was administered in small doses during the day, it promoted alertness and reduced sleepiness. However, when taken at slightly higher dosages at nighttime, hemp oil interacts with the CB1 receptors in the brain and supports the body’s own sleep cycles. It therefore not only helps with the process of falling asleep but also promotes a rejuvenating full night’s sleep that incorporates all the stages of healthy sleep.
6. Autoimmune Diseases
Research published by Environmental Health Perspectives indicates that in the United States alone, approximately 24 million people are afflicted with an autoimmune disease. Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Diabetes Type 1, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus are just a few examples of autoimmune disorders, in which the body’s own immune system attacks itself. The amount of people suffering from this category of disease is rising at an alarming rate, with 1 in 9 women and 1 in 12 men affected.
Why such a dramatic increase? Autoimmune diseases can be caused by either of two factors. The first cause is an excess of inflammation that targets the body’s own cells instead of fighting disease. The second cause is oxidative stress, which is the stress our bodies are exposed to from the environment, including chemicals, pollutants, and free radicals. With the inflammatory conditions we live in and the high amounts of oxidative stress we are vulnerable to, it is no wonder that autoimmune diseases are constantly on the rise.
Because hemp oil has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it is coming to the forefront as a possible cure for autoimmune diseases. A 2012 animal study done by a Brazilian scientist demonstrated hemp oil’s ability to decrease lung inflammation in rats. A 2011 review of current research showed that hemp oil can greatly diminish symptoms that come along with autoimmune diseases caused by oxidative stress.
Hemp oil accomplishes this by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system. This system, recently discovered in 1992 by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam of the Hebrew University in Israel, is responsible for maintaining internal balance and homeostasis. Hemp oil helps the body’s endocannabinoid system resist and neutralize the effects of inflammation and stress. It has therefore recently been studied comprehensively by scientists and researchers, and shows promising results as a potential alternative medication for these conditions.
7. Heart Health
With over 610,000 deaths a year in the United States, heart-related problems are the leading cause of death across America. Because pharmaceutical drugs to treat these conditions come along with so many unpleasant and even dangerous side effects, hemp oil is increasing in popularity as a possible alternative method of preventing and helping treat heart disease.
While pharmaceutical medications are often necessary when one is suffering from a heart condition, hemp oil can help improve heart health with a three-pronged approach: reducing inflammation, decreasing blood pressure, and reducing arrhythmia, an irregular heart rhythm.
Inflammation and swelling of the area surrounding the heart can cause heart cells to die, which, if not treated, can lead to death. Hemp oil’s anti-inflammatory properties are perhaps its most well-known benefit, and by reducing inflammation, hemp oil can help bring down inflammation of the heart. In addition, hemp oil has been shown to widen blood vessels, leading to more blood flow to and from the heart and decreasing blood pressure.
Hemp oil is also being studied for its role in treating arrhythmia. In a groundbreaking European animal study, researchers examined the interplay between hemp oil and the heart. The study concluded that hemp oil has the ability to regulate an irregular heartbeat in rodents, which gives medical professionals reason to believe that it can achieve the same effect in humans.
8. Skin Conditions
Although not usually as life-threatening, skin issues can be an uncomfortable issue for many people. A 2016 study done on human cells indicated that due to its anti-inflammatory properties, hemp oil has been shown to aid in controlling acne. In addition, a 2010 review of multiple studies indicates that hemp oil can be helpful in combating psoriasis, which stems from an autoimmune reaction. According to the National Eczema Association, cannabinoids, among them hemp oil, have powerful anti-itch and anti-microbial properties, which give them the potential to act as a powerful treatment of eczema.
9. Antipsychotic Effects
THC, the psychoactive component of the Cannabis plant family, is well-known for its ability to produce the “high” that is associated with Marijuana. Since hemp oil is also extracted from the Cannabis plant, some individuals are concerned that it too may have psychoactive properties. Nothing, however, can be farther from the truth. Not only does hemp oil not have any psychoactive properties, it actually exerts an anti-psychoactive effect. Hemp oil is now being studied for its role in benefiting those with a psychotic disorder, such as schizophrenia. The results of these studies point in a positive direction, showing hemp oil to be beneficial in minimizing the debilitating effects of these conditions.
10. Stronger Bones
The bones create the skeletal structure upon which the entire body is composed. Hemp oil works preventatively to strengthen the bone cells and prevent osteoporosis, and can also work to slow down or even reverse damage that has been sustained by the bones. In a 2010 study conducted by a European researcher, hemp oil showed promise as a therapy for a variety of bone diseases. Hemp oil interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system, and since there is such a high amount of these receptors located in the bones, hemp oil exerts a strong influence in this essential foundation of the human body.
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